West Indies is known for springing surprises. It recalled Ravi Rampaul for the ICC T20 World Cup starting in October in the UAE and Oman. The 36-year-old fast bowler will be making an international comeback after six years.
“Ravi will boost the team’s wicket-taking options in the powerplay, the middle phase and the death (late) overs,” said lead selector Roger Harper.
Carlos Brathwaite, who won the title for the Caribbeans by smashing four sixes off Ben Stokes in the final over in 2016, missed the bus. The all-rounder did not live up to the ‘maverick’ reputation. His strike-rate dropped to 113.13, and he could not even score one fifty in his 41-match T20I career.
Off-spinner Sunil Narine, who was in the West Indies’ scheme of things till 2019, is a noted absentee, too. Roston Chase’s form in the Caribbean Premier League earned him a maiden T20I berth.
The defending champion will be eyeing a hat-trick of titles.
Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr. Reserves: Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein.
This thing, called quarantine
The quarantine and bio-bubble protocols in every international tour took a toll on the emotional health of several cricketers and support staff. Misbah-ul-Haq is the latest victim. He stepped down as the head coach of Pakistan ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Bowling coach Waqar Younis also stepped down as he had walked into the role with Misbah to work as a pair.
“The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead. Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role,” Misbah said in a statement.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches for the white-ball series against New Zealand.
The PCB will announce the coaching staff for the T20 World Cup soon.
Cricket is a sport for all
The historic maiden Test match between Australia and Afghanistan in Hobart is almost certain to be cancelled after the new Taliban rule raised its voice against women playing cricket in the Islamic nation. It clashes with the ideology of Cricket Australia.
In a statement, CA confirmed it would not proceed with the game in November. “Driving the growth of women’s cricket globally is incredibly important to Cricket Australia. Our vision for cricket is that it is a sport for all, and we support the game unequivocally for women at every level.
“If recent media reports that women’s cricket will not be supported in Afghanistan are substantiated, Cricket Australia would have no alternative but to not host Afghanistan for the proposed Test Match due to be played in Hobart.”
The Australian Federal Sports Minister Senator Richard Colbeck has requested the International Cricket Council to intervene. Afghanistan Cricket Board CEO Hamid Shinwari asked CA to reconsider the decision as the move will completely isolate Afghanistan in the cricketing world.
Bangladesh registered its first bilateral series win over New Zealand in the five-match T20I series in Mirpur. The Tigers claimed the series 3-2.
The victory in the series-deciding fourth T20I was Bangladesh’s ninth of 2021 — the most by any team. In August, Bangladesh tasted its first series win [T20I] over Australia in any format.
New Zealand did not send its best team to the sub-continent, but the touring party had regular players Tom Latham and Colin de Grandhomme.
Dismissing an international team for 60 and 93 augurs well for the Bangladesh bowling attack ahead of the T20 World Cup though the wickets in Mirpur are not known for quality. Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed, who returned 4/10 in one of the games, shared the player of the series award with Latham.
“My skipper told me to back my strengths, dry the runs, and that’s what I did. There was some turn in the pitch, so I didn’t worry about variations, just stuck to the basics,” said Nasum.